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    Fried Okra with Thousand Island Dressing

    Source of Recipe

    From "Southern Fried" by James Villas

    Recipe Introduction

    "Originally, I used this recipe to make okra fritters to be served as part of a meal, but then I got the idea of frying the sliced pods as an appetizer for cocktail parties and small receptions. Suffice it to say that I defy even the most squeamish non-Southerners to eat these crunchy rounds and not proclaim that they love okra. As I always warn, this dish cannot be made successfully with frozen okra, so if you can't find firm, fresh pods in the market, opt for another appetizer."

    List of Ingredients

    The Dip:
    ◦ 1 cup mayonnaise
    ◦ cup bottled chili sauce
    ◦ cup pimento-stuffed green olives
    ◦ 1 large hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
    ◦ 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
    ◦ 1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper
    ◦ Tabasco sauce to taste

    The Okra:
    ◦ 1 pounds firm, fresh okra, rinsed
    ◦ cup minced onion
    ◦ cup minced green bell pepper
    ◦ 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    ◦ teaspoon salt
    ◦ Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    ◦ 2 cups yellow cornmeal
    ◦ 1 large egg
    ◦ 2 tablespoons half-and-half
    ◦ Tabasco sauce to taste
    ◦ Lard or vegetable shortening for deep frying


    To make the dip, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix till well blended, cover, and chill till ready to use.

    To make the okra, stem and slice it into -inch rounds. In a large bowl, combine the okra, onion, bell pepper, flour, salt, and pepper and toss till well blended. Add the cornmeal and toss again. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, half-and-half, and Tabasco till well blended, pour over the okra rounds, stir gently, and let stand for about 15 minutes.

    In a large skillet, melt about 1 inch of lard or shortening to 365 F on a deep-fat thermometer, drop the okra rounds in batches into the fat, and fry till golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. With a slotted spoon, transfer the rounds to paper towels to drain, then serve hot with toothpicks and the dip.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings




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